Since the beginning of COVID it has been interesting to observe behaviours in myself and others. When everything began, we searched for some sort of exercise and to just get some exposure to sun (knowing natural vitamin D improved our immune function.)

For me, I would do some simple push-ups and burpees throughout the day, along with an indoor kayak machine.  For others they might follow yoga or you tube exercise videos and ensure they got out for a ‘social distance’ walk.

However, even as things open up, I find a lot of us have backed off somewhat in consistent movement; we are working intently from home, but overall general movement has gone down.  Many of us are at the computer constantly, and watching TV in the evening.  Gone are my push-ups and burpees, although, though force of will, I’m getting some bike rides and kayak sessions in. Nevertheless, my general daily movement has declined

I see this in other, and this has a negative impact on health and also weight loss. When we are more active, we tend to avoid mindless snacks, and more importantly, we are in a better frame of mind which also helps resilience in avoiding snacks.

Not everyone, but enough that I become concerned, are still avoiding going to stores.  We need movement and we need some degree of social contact, if only to see other people. Isolation is not good for the soul, nor is it good for our physiological health which is directly tied to our psychological health. I fear for the anxiety people are carrying; worrying about kids to school, going back into the work environment, and getting clarity of risk.

My major message this week is to “move.” This truly takes a level of awareness of how much or how little we are up and down, standing, biking, walking or whatever. Standing desks may be part of the solution for some. For others, because I worry about loss of muscle mass as the years go by, I’ve challenged to do some simple strength training daily (for those with some mobility, I’ve suggested 10 slow push-ups off a desk or floor; 10 simple squats or leg lifts, and some sort of abdominal exercise/sit up/plank, or just sitting and pulling the tummy in and holding for 15 secs, 10 times.)

Get creative…but just move. Why? For your mental health, to get more energy, to maintain some degree of cardio pulmonary fitness (which helps immunity), and helping subdue the ‘reward’ centre of the brain from wanting snacks.

There are some great online videos one can find from stretching right up to HIIT-type exercises

If you are sitting at your computer for a long time, stand and stretch, do 10 sqauts after 30 minutes of sitting, or walk around for 30 seconds; anything. Just keep aware that we all must move more!

You can do it. Never give up. This is your health, now and in the future.  What you do today will impact your tomorrow.  What can you do today?

Dr.  Doug